When Tapere Ariki-Hewett started as a new recruit with the New Zealand Police, she found herself being referred to as JB (Junior Boy) and being ordered to make coffees. On another occasion, she encountered a complete lack of regard for her having a child and being ordered to work out of another station considerably further from her home with just one day’s notice.
However, Tapere has always overcome these types of issues. She is probably the most driven woman I have ever met. She worked full time in a leadership role, cared for her family, managed the properties she and her husband own and still managed to study full time for an MBA, which she has recently completed. It makes my head spin just to think about it!
Tapere had two childhood dreams – to own her first house by 21 and her second by 25, and to join the Police. She achieved all this, except that she owned her second house by the time she was 24. And this despite having left school at 16.
But, as you can see from some of her experiences with the NZ Police, it wasn’t all a bed of roses. Tapere also talks about the frustrations of being the only female in her unit’s management team at Auckland Council and even on one occasion having to argue with her male colleagues about why some women wouldn’t want to wear their ID on their chest and have the risk of having males staring at their breasts!
So how did Tapere overcome these difficulties and others to achieve her dreams? Listen to our conversation and find out.